Metals in horseshoe crab eggs from Delaware Bay, USA: temporal patterns from 1993 to 2012

Joanna Burger, Nellie Tsipoura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The health of horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) eggs is important not only to maintain horseshoe crab populations, but because they are a resource for higher trophic levels, such as fish and shorebirds. We examined the concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, and selenium in the eggs of horseshoe crabs from Delaware Bay (between New Jersey and Delaware, USA) in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, and 2012 to determine if there were significant temporal changes and if levels appear to pose a health risk to the crabs themselves, or to predators that consume them. All metal levels declined in horseshoe crab eggs between 1994 and 2012, although the declines were much less consistent for lead and chromium than that for mercury and cadmium. Levels of contaminants found in these eggs are well below those known to cause adverse effects in the crabs themselves or to organisms that consume them, such as migrating shorebirds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6947-6958
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental monitoring and assessment
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 31 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Delaware Bay
  • Eggs
  • Heavy metals
  • Horseshoe crab
  • Mercury


Dive into the research topics of 'Metals in horseshoe crab eggs from Delaware Bay, USA: temporal patterns from 1993 to 2012'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this